My dad and mum were not in the best moods as always, but they had to switch it to accommodate the figment of happiness that my end of year result brought to the family. I finished top of my class again, it was becoming a routine, yet a thing of joy for my father, especially. My mother was growing increasingly frustrated at him; I could not put my finger at what exactly was the cause, maybe because of my age. The only thing I was sure of then was that anytime there was a fight and extended family members needed to intervene, my mother was never right, she had no supporter among her in-laws, I did not understand why.
By the time I wrote my common entrance examination into the secondary school my mother had packed out of the house and the family did not allow her to leave with me, so I lived with my father. Two months after she left, I lost my mother to a brief illness, or so they said. It was a difficult time for me, but I never knew it was the beginning of a tortuous journey of life. After few months, my father decided that I should move in with his younger sister so that I would have a motherly care. Can anyone replace one’s mother no matter how much they try, if they ever try at all?
While the imbroglio of divorce and my mother’s death lasted I had missed the admission for the year. My aunt promised to enroll me into a nearby secondary school the following year while I became an unpaid house-girl running all errands for the family. All her children were in school and it was my duty to fetch water for them so that they won’t get late for school and I must ensure their lunch was ready before they return. It was nothing to me because I thought I would join them the following session, I never did.
The following year I went to the school close to us to make inquiry and I was told I would need #2, 400 for my registration. My aunt promised to give me the money but she never did until the admission for the year ended. People, especially her customers, noticed how good I was at reading and started asking why I was not enrolled in school. Her usual response was to put the blame on my dead mother but that refused to fly after a while so she decided to enroll me with a tailor down our street. That was the path I followed until I became a woman, even now.
I learnt tailoring for six years, not because I was a slow learner but my aunt felt I should stayed with my boss till I was of age to take care of myself. All the while I tried to improve myself the little I can, building on my primary school foundation via pedestrian learning from friends and customers. I would try to read an unfamiliar word and someone would correct me when I was wrong. Very few people could tell I was not in school whenever I was amidst my friends who were in various secondary schools then. I did all what they did, socially and I was not a burden to them financially because my boss started paying me pittance after few years. I funded ideas that would guarantee I was part of the girls. I sew their cloth free of charge, which made me have a sizeable number of educated friends in the area. I had toasters, received and wrote love letters and had a boyfriend.
My best friend was Esther, we attended the same primary school and she knew I was not a poor student. We visited each other daily, either I was at her place or she was at my shop. Esther has an older brother, Jide who was two years ahead of her in school. We were all friends but Jide was more outgoing and brilliant. He asked me out when he was about writing his SSCE and Esther was in SS 1, but I declined. I did not have any personal reasons to reject his offer because Jide was handsome and intelligent but I did not want it to jeopardize my relationship with Esther which I valued more than any love affair. Esther did not have a boyfriend then too, so it was like ‘our thing’, though consolatory because Esther used to envy other girls’ boyfriends in their absence.
Nevertheless, I agreed that Jide and I could keep a subtle, unspoken love affair. He would hold my hand whenever Esther was not on sit. He once tried to kiss me but I found it very irritating at first. He would gist with me and tell me his plans for the university and his ambitions, all these fascinated me endlessly and I loved being in his company. Esther sensed our closeness and warned Jide to keep off me. I would smile and tell her I could not date Jide because we are more like a family.
One fateful day, Jide told me to come to their house in the morning time when her mum would have gone to her store and Esther to school. Jide had a small room to himself; it was meant to be the visitor’s room for their families from the village who seldom visit and their grandpa who owned the 20-room building. So, the room was fairly made up with a big bed, rug and necessary electronics. It was a luxury giving the cost of rent in the area. I got to the house around 10.30 am since I did not have much to do at the shop. I was dressed in a free yard gown and maybe I should quickly add that I had become a very beautiful girl then with well-developed breasts and a shape I inherited from my mother. I got compliments from men of every age everyday but I stuck with my decision not to date anyone.
Jide was expecting me, I guessed he put some touches of neatness into the room as the bed was well laid and the room was generally tidy. He welcomed me like a gentleman with a warm hug that was so brief I even wished it would last a little longer. He sat very close to me on the bed and my heart was racing because I did not know what to expect. Jide wrapped his right arm around my waist as we spoke and I was enveloped by a great discomfort. A generous amount of moisture was forming between my thighs and I was scared I would soak my pant. As I turned to utter some words of objection to the position we were, his mouth met mine and he kissed me passionately, I could not resist him. It was as if he was sucking life out of me as my whole frame collapsed on him, he carefully laid me on the bed as we continued kissing…